Johns Hopkins weathered a hurricane of opportunities by Syracuse in the first half and clawed back to make it a one goal deficit, 7-6. The second half, however, turned into an avalanche that smothered the Orangemen. Cuse would manage one measly goal with 55 seconds left on a man-up play. In the mean time Hopkins scored 13 goals in the second half. The Blue Jays won face-offs by committee using Kyle Harrison, Greg Peyser, and Lou Braun. They took turns and the result was a third quarter in which Syracuse may have possessed the ball on offense for a minute all together. Hopkins used key match-ups to break Cuse down and once they got a five goal lead Syracuse fell apart at the seems. They began to over play and with the sloppy footing due to soft turf they got burned time and time again. Syracuse attackman Liam Banks summed it up aptly after the game. "You want to get it back right away but at the same time when you're playing a lot of defense, you want to pull the ball out and run the offense. I felt our offense was working in the first half, we just didn't have enough possessions in the second half. You gotta pull it out at some point but at the same time play with a sense of urgency and I think we pushed it too much in the second half."
The field conditions were a major factor today due to a month of rainy weather. Come Monday morning it may look like a dirt field rather than a grass one. Hopkins was actually fortunate to get out of the first half with a one goal game. Powell and company were running circles around them in the first half, but five pipe shots and some squandered opportunities left them with 7 goals which is good. The only problem is that despite solid play by Pfeifer Hopkins was taking advantage of their fewer chances. The real story was the face off unit which dominated the third quarter to allow Hopkins to get the lead. Corey Harned played long stick middie and was the star of the game making brilliant plays on offense at critical times.
Jarett Park opened the scoring at 14:32 of the first quarter. Hopkins had the ball on offense when long stick Matt Bontaites stripped Kyle Harrison and sent Jarett Park on the fast break. Nobody picked him up and he ran straight to the goal slightly to the right and bounced it past goalie Rob Scherr, 1-0. Hopkins had the next possession and Peter LeSeuer beat short stick d-middie Brett Walther to the cage, but shot wide. Syracuse cleared and Cuse attackman Mike Springer fed Mike Smith for a shot off the pipe. Hopkins cleared, but Joe McDermott threw the ball out of bounds when his hands got checked mid pass. Cuse cleared and made it 2-0. Powell took the ball to the midfield line to get a running start against close defenseman Tom Garvey. He split to his right and hit Springer cutting towards him on the same side ten yards out. Springer tuned inside and bounced the lefty shot by Scherr's legs. Hopkins scored moments later when Peter LeSeuer scooped up a ball in the crease and put it past Pfeifer, but he was ruled in the crease, no goal.
With 7:04 to go in the first Cuse took a 3-0 lead on another Powell set up. This time Powell was working against Michael Peyser. From X Powell drove to his left and popped a feed to Greg Rommel who was open momentarily on the crease. He caught it right handed and as he passed across the crease he shot low and away along left pipe. Hopkins used Lou Braun for the next face to change it up, but he jumped the whistle. The two big boys from Cuse in Springer and Sean Lindsay got off shots that missed the cage. Hopkins cleared and got their first goal of the game. Greg Peyser dusted Sean Lindsay at the top of the box to the goalies left. The slides came so he hit Kevin Boland in the center who went one more over to Joe McDermott for an overhand righty crank shot that went low, 3-1. SU took the next possession and Hopkins went into a zone to try and get a stop. They stayed a little too tight allowing Banks to survey the field from X with no pressure. Banks fed Brian Nee in the low lefty crank spot and Nee ripped a shot along the far left pipe, 4-1. Hopkins immediately scrapped the zone after that.
Harrison had the ball for Hopkins off the next face, but he got triple teamed. Dan DiPietro went over the head to steal the ball and sent his team on offense. Banks fed Springer at the top of the box, but Springer couldn't handle it. Corey Harned cleared and set up Kyle Barrie for a jump shot that Pfeifer stoned. During Cuse's clear D-middie Benson Erwin took a pushing penalty to send the Orange on their first man-up. Powell stung the corner with a rip the bounced off the pipe. Scherr saved the next shot and Hopkins killed the rest to end the first quarter.
Peyser took the face for Hopkins again and this time his counterpart Chris Bickel jumped the whistle. That set Harrison up too get penetration, but his soft lefty shot was an easy save for Pfeifer. SU cleared and were getting great shots at will during a lengthy possession in which they would miss four times before drilling the crossbar. Hopkins would find the biggest weakness in Cuse's defense on their next goal. Getting match-ups with shortsticks behind the cage would become a trend for Hopkins. This time it was Peter LeSeuer working on Mike Smith behind the cage. LeSeuer took him deep and just ran at his defender before getting a step inside. When he got near goal line extended he hit Barrie across the crease for a quick stick, 4-2. Moments later Corey Harned came on the break off the face and when no one picked him up he put it in himself with his d-pole, 4-3.
Cuse countered at the 9:07 mark with a simple ball movement play. Nobody got beat, Bill Perrit passed to Kyle Olson who ripped a shot from 14 yards out to Scherr's right that went in low, 5-3. The Blue Jays had an offensive possession, but DiPietro forced another throw out of bounds. On the clear attackman Barrie went off sides to give Cuse a man-up at 7:51. Hopkins played better defense man down than they had even up to that point. On their clear Harrison got slashed by Brian Nee. With 6:16 to go in the half Kevin Boland fed Conor Ford for a sweet goal. Ford got the ball in the low righty crank spot about 13 yards out to Pfeifer's right. Ford came with the crank under handed that almost scraped the ground. Pfeifer dropped to his knees and Ford stuck it short side upper left, 5-4. Shortly after Hopkins had a golden opportunity with McDermott cranking from the other side, but the ten yard shot was strait into the lefty Pfiefer's stick. Su cleared and Lindsay hit the post again. Soon after Liam Banks working on Michael Peyser from X drove to his left and emerged 7 yards above goal line extended to Scherr's right. He stopped and got his hands free for a low shot to the far side, 6-4. Hopkins answered when LeSeuer got the best of Brett Walther again from behind the cage. LeSeuer got a step and came to the front to Pfifer's left before he scored along the far left pipe, 6-5. Cuse refused to slide early fearing Benson on the inside.
Sean Lindsay willed his way to the front of the goal to put Cuse back up with 1:39 seconds to go in the half. It would be 30:34 before Syracuse scored again. Lindsay swept to his left and got funneled behind the cage. He pulled up along goal line extended to the goalies right and just backed his way to the front pushing his defender Benson Erwin out of his way. He rolled inside and dunked it past Scherr, 7-5. Hopkins again capitalized on a short stick defender behind. Kevin Boland beat Chris Bickel from behind going to his right. When he turned the corner he bounced a waist high shot off Pfeifer and in the short side, 7-6. SU's Lindsay slipped and dropped the ball when Cuse was on offense. Harned quickly snagged the loose ball and started the break, but Hopkins could not convert. With a second on the clock DiPietro and crease man Bobby Benson were doing serious battle. The ball was in bounded to Benson who caught it lefty across his body. He managed to push it forward in the goal, but it was after time expired.
Syracuse totally dominated the play, but due to a myriad of pipes and missed shots they settled for a 7-6 advantage. Adam Donegar was practically invisible in the first half with long sticks playing him Hopkins worked the ball against the shorties. Also of note, there wasn't any player for either team that scored twice in the first half.
The second half was a completely different story. Hopkins used face offs and a steady controlled offense to pick Syracuse apart. What began as a couple of goals soon became a gaping whole for Cuse to try and come out of. It just kept snowballing. Cuse began to press out and they were getting burned every time. The few shots they did get either missed the net or Scherr saved them. Everything went Hopkins' way.
25 seconds into the second half Hopkins tied it a 7-7. Harrison possessed the ball off the face and ran down the right side of the field circled around the other side of the net and took a jumping left handed shot that beat Pfeifer high along the right pipe. Bliss took a pushing penalty on Hops' next possession. Donegar got a lefty crank shot off from the outside that Pfeifer saved easily. After an extended offense LeSeuer was stopped by Pfeifer. SU cleared and Banks was robbed by Sherr. Hop cleared and the attackman Brian Nee got caught on defense against McDermott. McDermott couldn't take advantage one on one, but after the ball was moved around Nee bolted for the box leaving his team down a man. Hopkins got the ball to Barrie on the doorstep twice, but Barrie mishandled the ball both times. SU cleared, but Mike Smith's pass sailed over Banks head out of bounds on the end line. Hopkins cleared and took the lead for the first time. The attackman Barrie came through the box as a middie and drove to his right. When he got close to the goal he turned and passed back to Conor Ford standing in the lefty crank spot. Ford handled it righty and dropped his stick for an underhand worm burner that beat Pfeifer 5 hole, 8-7.
Lindsay looked to get that goal back for Cuse, but Scherr came up big again. With 3:21 left in the third Hopkins got their 9th goal. A middie had a three step lead on his trailer in a classic 4-3 break. The ball went across to the high spot to goalie's right. Corey Harned was the fifth man down who out hustled every one else. The long stick got the pass five yards outside the box and hit Benson down low to goalies left. Benson made no mistake with it and made it 9-7. With 1:21 to go McDermott was flying down the right side when he whipped a pass to Barrie on the backside crease. Barrie handled the high pass by jumping and dunking high in the right corner, 10-7. With key face-off wins, a couple great saves, and great match ups Hopkins took the game over.
The 4th quarter was more of the same. With each goal Hopkins scored Syracuse became worse. By the end of the game Cuse looked like they were new to the sport. Hopkins had guys wide open all over the place and the Syracuse's defense couldn't keep up. If not for a late goal on man-up Syracuse would have been shut out in the second half as Hopkins scored 13. Hopkins moves on to the finals where they will face Virginia.
|Kyle Barrie||(4, 1)|
|Kevin Boland||(1, 4)|
|Bobby Benson||(4, 0)|
|Conor Ford||(3, 1)|
|Peter Lesueur||(2, 2)|
|Corey Harned||(1, 2)|
|Joe Mcdermott||(2, 1)|
|Kyle Harrison||(2, 0)|
|Benson Erwin||(0, 1)|
|Greg Peyser||(0, 1)|
|Rob Scherr||15 (0.682)|
|Scott Smith||2 (0.667)|